18th November 2012

Is it just me?  The whole world has gone 'virtual crazy'.  But even I never thought that wars would be partly conducted on social networking sites!  It's a sign of the times, but never before has the start of a military campaign been announced on Twitter - as happened last Wednesday. Both sides of the current Middle East debacle are apparently tweeting and uploading videos onto YouTube non-stop. The tweets are both direct and aggressive, both sides countering each other tweet by tweet!  It seems that such sites are not only used to share information with the rest of the world, they are also on the conflict's frontline. But, I suppose any means that can help innocent people in a conflict are good, e.g. a recent tweet: 'Try sticking plastic tape onto window panes and school books' as a preventative in case of sudden attacks. I can't understand how apparently impoverished people, sometimes living in one room, can afford to have the latest technology.
The danger with all this is that not only are virtual - sometimes amateurish - sites reporting on global news, but they also give a blank canvas to mad people giving vent to individual furies. Unchecked, unprofessional, comments can now be published globally, causing mayhem and blowing events up out of all proportion. This ageing, insecure writer is feeling worried. Please can we go back to a time when all news events (and God-forbid) wars are reported and dealt with by experienced people properly trained, selected and educated?

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